By Nicole Murray Ramirez
Yes, it’s true I have been a registered Republican, Democrat and Independent. While I am now a registered Democrat, I support and vote for who I believe is the best candidate — not the party — and thus do not vote for some Republican candidates, especially in San Diego where there are more moderate and pro LGBT civil rights supporters.
When I first came to San Diego in the early 1970s it was truly a conservative Republican city with token Democratic party opposition. Now, there are more voters registered as Democrats, followed by Independents and then Republicans. Of the last seven mayors that I have served and advised, five have been Republicans and two have been Democrats.
While I have always strongly believed in the two-party system, I now believe our nation needs a good solid third party. I also believe that we need to get rid of the electoral college and the candidate getting the majority of the votes should be elected our president — period! Right now I am concerned about the future of both the Republican and Democratic party as those that are registering as Independent are growing every year. While I am proud Latino and gay man I do not vote for candidates just because they are Latino or LGBTQ, although I would like to see more qualified Latino or LGBTQ candidates elected to office.
As I have been saying for these few last years “The Golden State is turning brown” and interestingly, Latino LGBT candidates have been elected to public office more than ever. A gay man was elected state chairman of the Democratic party in California. He recently resigned and the only two candidates for the chairman of the San Diego Democratic party are both gay men. Marine veteran and Latino activist Will Rodriguez-Kennedy and former Democrats for Equality president Craig Roberts.
The Democratic party seems to be spilt between moderates and liberal progressives, with some even calling themselves “Socialist Democrats.” The Republican party seems to have turned into the “Trump” party with some even calling themselves “Nationalist.” This past election in California just about wiped out the Republican party in our state.
In San Diego, for the first time in history, our city council has a Democratic super majority of six, not including the mayor, with a Latina lesbian recently elected its president. Among the candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president will be a gay mayor, a Latino who was formerly mayor, two African-American senators and probably up to four women. Hopefully someone will challenge Trump, or he will be impeached or resigned by next year. As I have said before, I strongly believe in the two-party system and if the Republican party does not become more moderate, pro LGBT and in tune with Latino issues, it is probably doomed. And if the Democratic candidates become too liberal and left wing “Democratic Socialist” they could lose the presidency again.
In San Diego’s upcoming mayoral race the leading candidate is a gay man of color. There could also be a woman candidate who registered as an Independent but will probably be supported by the Republican officials; additionally, there will three mayoral candidates who are registered Democrats. There are now three LGBT councilmembers and next year there could be four. While I believe that San Diego has had some of the best and most moderate Republican office holders in America, I believe our current mayor could be the last Republican ever elected in our region. There seems to be a fight for the “soul” of both the Democratic and Republican parties with majority of Americans polled wanting a viable third party.
I not only urge everyone to be registered to vote, but to educate yourself about not only the candidates but also their political parties and platforms, both national and statewide. Get involved because 2020 will be the most important election in our lives … period!
Big Mike’s Birthday Fundraiser
Big Mike Phillips is holding his 20th Anniversary of Big Mike’s Birthday Fundraiser on Jan. 19 at Riche’s San Diego from 5-8 p.m. Big Mike is asking for a $20 or more donation to benefit Florence Elementary School and The Matthew Shepard Foundation. 1051 University Ave.
—Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the “Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest” by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at Hillcrestqueen5@gmail.com.
Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.
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